Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been admitted to hospital with a suspected infection caused by a harpoon wound after negotiations with Japan broke down today.
Japan has stated it will consider walking away from the International Whaling Commission and setting up a rival organisation. It was especially annoyed by the refusal of anti-whaling countries to discuss a small amount of commercial whaling by four Japanese communities.
John Prescott, a key player in the whaling negotiations was thought to have been harpooned by an over-enthusiastic Japanese whaler during a heated argument yesterday in which two members of the commission were punched by Prescott.
A statement from Mr Prescott's office said: "He has been admitted to hospital. He is undergoing tests as a result of a suspected harpooning incident and also he is being treated for grazed knuckles."
This is not the first occasion on which John Prescott has fallen foul of whalers. He is banned from most beaches and Whaleworld in Orlando, Florida and was invited as a special guest to the preview of Free Willy 2.